This ‘balance’ is bunk

This 'balance' is bunk "Balanced" is the Yukon Party government's "message word"- the word you'll remember after they stop talking. "Balance" needs the right scale. Kluane National Park is a large area that may not look balanced from a resource extracti

“Balanced” is the Yukon Party government’s “message word” – the word you’ll remember after they stop talking.

“Balance” needs the right scale. Kluane National Park is a large area that may not look balanced from a resource extraction perspective. But if we look from the International Space Station, we can see all of Canada and the distribution of development and nature by our national parks. At that scale, Kluane Park looks balanced.

The Dawson gold fields are a large area blanketed by mining and crisscrossed resource roads with creeks ripped up and mined. Is that balanced land use? Step back and look at the Yukon as a whole and the intensive industrialization looks balanced.

Many believe the Peel scale is bigger than the Yukon and Canada since it’s of world significance. The planning commission’s plan shows that.

The Yukon Party plan shows otherwise. Which plan uses the correct scale to weigh economic development and conservation?

The commission’s seven years of consideration and public discussions found conservation had to be heavily weighted.

Yukoners in the Yukon Party’s consultation said so too, as did First Nations.

Despite that there’s never been a mine in the Peel and the only resource extraction has been from investors’ wallets, the Yukon Party says unfettered access is essential to get “balance.”

Given the remoteness of the Peel, the commodities slump, the evaporation of resource capital and lack of any hope a Peel mining project will get a social license to operate, no reasonable person would say there’s potential there. If you take a Peel mineral project to Dragons’ Den’s Kevin O’Leary, he’ll say “Are you crazy, I’ll never get my money back much less make money with that”.

The Yukon Party’s attitude is like the Tea Party Republicans in their opposition to Obamacare. It shut down the U.S. government and did untold economic damage to again fight a battle they already, repeatedly lost. The Yukon Party lost the Peel battle at the commission, again at the public consultation, and there’s a good chance they’ll lose again in court along with losing the tax dollars spent writing and marketing a second plan and litigation.

To twist a rhetorical question by Sarah Palin, “how’s that fight’n and lawyer’n stuff working out”? The answer is: not well.

After the Ross River staking fiasco, the White River exploration rejection and the Carmacks agricultural lease case, the Yukon Party may try finding some common ground.

Our economy is running fine without the Peel. In this low commodity cycle, there’s nothing gained by causing investors uncertainty with litigation and damaged First Nation relations. There’s Yukon mineral projects with more favourable locations and proven economic feasibility struggling for capital.

How do Yukon Party-created problems help them attract investment and achieve wealth creation?

And that “balanced” the Yukon Party government is marketing – read the fine print in the Yukon Party plan. No area is protected, since roads are allowed everywhere and to cross rivers to access claims.

Skeeter Wright

Whitehorse